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Three Ways to Improve Your Building Access Control Systems

Three Ways to Improve your Building's Access Control Systems

Those who work in an office are used to dealing with access control systems, usually a passcard or another type of ID. All they have to worry about is remembering to bring their passcard each morning and that the system is working correctly.

If you are responsible for your building’s access control system, then you have a lot more to be concerned about than whether your system is working. Your access control system is crucial not only to keep your employees protected but also to stop the theft of anything from intellectual property to valuable equipment.

Even if your access control system seems to be working smoothly, you can always find ways to improve it. Ask yourself the following questions to see if your system need any improvements:

  • Does our current access control system meet our needs?
  • Do only the right people have access to our building?
  • Does our access control system need any upgrades?

If you have any concerns after evaluating your current access control system, we’d be happy to help you improve!


Take a look at your access control system and think both about what its fundamental purpose and if your system is fulfilling its purpose.

Determine if it works effectively for:

  • How it integrates into any other security systems you may have
  • Supporting separate access levels
  • Does it work around the clock without the need for a security guard or other support?
  • Do all your employees need to use it?


With full-time staff mixed in with contractors, as well as guests, cleaning crew, and other maintenance staff, it can be challenging to make sure that only the right people have access to your building. Your access control system can help you with that. It should support:

  • Being able to set a card to time out. For example, a guest pass is only good for 12 hours after it is issued.
  • The option to have your employees need to renew their cards regularly. Any cards that are not renewed within the determined period are automatically deactivated.
  • The ability to do an audit. You should be able to determine how many keycards are active and if this greatly exceeds the numbers of employees. You should also be able to cross-check a list of active keycards with a list of employees who have left the company recently to ensure they do not still have active cards.
  • The option to have your employees check-in and out of the building. This will help ensure they do not forget their badge, and track employee movements as necessary.
  • Having key cards with labels such as “Maintenance” and “Guest.”

An additional way to ensure that only the right people have access to your building is to teach your employees to avoid tailgating. A good way to do this is to have an access control system set up so that it limits the options for tailgating. For example, turnstile type entrances can help limit opportunities for someone to tailgate.


An access control system is not a one-time investment. You should look at your system and ask yourself:

  • How long ago was my system installed?
  • Is my system out of date? Can its security now be easily compromised?
  • Does it still support the needs of the company, or have we grown beyond it?

If your access control system is more than a decade old, can be easily compromised, or your company has grown beyond it, it may be time to start looking into a new access control system.

At a minimum, you should make sure that any software it relies on is up to date, and any necessary patches have been applied.


At a.p.i Alarm, we want you to know that your staff and your buildings are properly protected. We’ve talked about three ways you can improve your building’s access control systems. You need to confirm if:

  • Your current access control system meets your needs.
  • Only the right people have access to your building.
  • Whether or not your access control system needs any upgrades.

If you’re not sure of the answer to any of these, it’s time to think about upgrading your access control systems.

To learn more about how to improve your building’s access control system, call a.p.i Alarm at 1-800-897-1039 or contact us here.